Cambridge, United Kingdom

F-star Biotechnology Limited
Cambridge, United Kingdom
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Obrezanova O.,Biologics | Arnell A.,Biologics | De La Cuesta R.G.,Biologics | De La Cuesta R.G.,F-star Biotechnology Limited | And 4 more authors.
mAbs | Year: 2015

Aggregation is a common problem affecting biopharmaceutical development that can have a significant effect on the quality of the product, as well as the safety to patients, particularly because of the increased risk of immune reactions. Here, we describe a new high-throughput screening algorithm developed to classify antibody molecules based on their propensity to aggregate. The tool, constructed and validated on experimental aggregation data for over 500 antibodies, is able to discern molecules with a high aggregation propensity as defined by experimental criteria relevant to bioprocessing and manufacturing of these molecules. Furthermore, we show how this tool can be combined with other computational approaches during early drug development to select molecules with reduced risk of aggregation and optimal developability properties. © Olga Obrezanova, Andreas Arnell, Ramón Gómez de la Cuesta, Maud E Berthelot, Thomas RA Gallagher, Jesús Zurdo, and Yvette Stallwood.

Nuccitelli A.,Novartis | Nuccitelli A.,F-star Biotechnology Limited | Rinaudo C.D.,Novartis | Brogioni B.,Novartis | And 9 more authors.
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2013

The pilus 2a backbone protein (BP-2a) is one of the most structurally and functionally characterized components of a potential vaccine formulation against Group B Streptococcus. It is characterized by six main immunologically distinct allelic variants, each inducing variant-specific protection. To investigate the molecular determinants driving the variant immunogenic specificity of BP-2a, in terms of single residue contributions, we generated six monoclonal antibodies against a specific protein variant based on their capability to recognize the polymerized pili structure on the bacterial surface. Three mAbs were also able to induce complement-dependent opsonophagocytosis killing of live GBS and target the same linear epitope present in the structurally defined and immunodominant domain D3 of the protein. Molecular docking between the modelled scFv antibody sequences and the BP-2a crystal structure revealed the potential role at the binding interface of some non-conserved antigen residues. Mutagenesis analysis confirmed the necessity of a perfect balance between charges, size and polarity at the binding interface to obtain specific binding of mAbs to the protein antigen for a neutralizing response. © 2013 Nuccitelli et al.

Hasenhindl C.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Traxlmayr M.W.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Wozniak-Knopp G.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Jones P.C.,F-star Biotechnology Limited | And 3 more authors.
Protein Engineering, Design and Selection | Year: 2013

Antigen-binding Fc fragments (Fcab) are generated by engineering the C-terminal loop regions in the CH3 domain of human immunoglobulin G class 1-crystallizable fragment (IgG1-Fc). For an optimum library design with high percentage of well-folded clones for efficient binder selection, information about the correlation between primary structure and stability is needed. Here, we present a rapid method that allows determination of the overall stability of whole libraries of IgG1-Fc on the surface of yeast by flow cytometry. Libraries of IgG1-Fc mutants with distinct regions in AB-, CD- and EF-loops of the CH3 domains randomized or carrying therein insertions of five additional residues were constructed, incubated at increasing temperatures and probed for residual binding of generic Fc ligands. Calculated temperatures of half-maximal irreversible denaturation of the libraries gave a clear hierarchy of tolerance to randomization of distinct loop positions. Experimental data were evaluated by a computational approach and are discussed with respect to the structure of IgG1-Fc and variation in sequence and length of these loops in homologous Fc proteins. Generally, the described method allows for quick assessment of the effects of randomization of distinct regions on the foldability and stability of a yeast-displayed protein library. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2013

F-star is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company and is applying its Modular Antibody Technology to the development of a pipeline of bispecific antibody products. F-stars modular approach is based on introducing an antigen binding site into the Fc fragment of an antibody. The resulting Fcabs can be used to rapidly generate a bispecific from any antibody. The relatively long serum half-life and potential for improved tissue penetration of these Fcabs suggests that they will be particularly well suited to an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) approach. F-star has generated an Fcab which binds potently to Her2 and has demonstrated promising efficacy in mouse xenograft models. In this project F-star will conjugate a cytotoxin to its anti-Her2 Fcab and evaluate the resulting antibody drug conjugate alongside current standard of care treatments in mouse xenograft models.

F-star Biotechnology Limited and F Star Biotechnologische Forschungs Und Entwicklungsges.M.B.H | Date: 2016-03-31

The invention relates the use of Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) gene copy number and HER2 mRNA levels as biomarkers to identify cancers which will respond to treatment with a specific binding member comprising a HER2 antigen binding site engineered into a structural loop region of a constant domain, e.g. CH3 domain, of the specific binding member, and specific binding members which compete with such a binding member for binding to HER2.

PubMed | F-star Biotechnology Limited
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy | Year: 2015

FS102 is a HER2-specific Fcab (Fc fragment with antigen binding), which binds HER2 with high affinity and recognizes an epitope that does not overlap with those of trastuzumab or pertuzumab. In tumor cells that express high levels of HER2, FS102 caused profound HER2 internalization and degradation leading to tumor cell apoptosis. The antitumor effect of FS102 in patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) correlated strongly with the HER2 amplification status of the tumors. Superior activity of FS102 over trastuzumab or the combination of trastuzumab and pertuzumab was observed in vitro and in vivo when the gene copy number of HER2 was equal to or exceeded 10 per cell based on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Thus, FS102 induced complete and sustained tumor regression in a significant proportion of HER2-high PDX tumor models. We hypothesize that the unique structure and/or epitope of FS102 enables the Fcab to internalize and degrade cell surface HER2 more efficiently than standard of care antibodies. In turn, increased depletion of HER2 commits the cells to apoptosis as a result of oncogene shock. FS102 has the potential of a biomarker-driven therapeutic that derives superior antitumor effects from a unique mechanism-of-action in tumor cells which are oncogenically addicted to the HER2 pathway due to overexpression.

CAMBRIDGE, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--F-star, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, today announced the formation of F-star Alpha Ltd., an independent company which has been granted exclusive licences to a range of oncology assets from F-star Biotechnology Ltd. Under the terms of the licence agreement, F-star Alpha receives an exclusive licence to FS102, an Fcab™ antibody fragment, which eliminates HER2-positive cancer cells through a novel apoptotic mechanism of action. Furthermore, a genetic predictive biomarker has been identified, which allows selection of patients likely to respond to therapy. FS102 is now progressing to clinical testing in breast, gastric and colorectal cancer. In addition, F-star Alpha receives a licence for the generation of Fcabs or bispecific antibodies (mAb2™) against up to 22 other oncology and immuno-oncology targets. In return, F-star will receive a combination of milestone payments and tiered royalties. F-star Alpha is funded through a Series A investment of €9.4m from Atlas Venture, Aescap Venture, TVM Capital, SR One, MP Healthcare Venture Management, and MS Ventures. This investment enables the company to carry out IND-enabling studies with FS102. In addition the investment will fund the discovery of novel immuno-oncology therapies aimed at activating the patient’s immune system against cancer. “We are very pleased to announce the creation and funding of F-star Alpha, the first asset-centric vehicle, which exclusively comprises key assets of the F-star family”, said John Haurum, CEO of F-star. “The F-star technology platform has fully matured and enables the development of a large number of novel therapeutic products for the benefit of patients. This new company structure will accelerate the development of an exciting pipeline of cancer therapeutics, while creating greater commercial and financial flexibility for F-star, the investors, and future partners”. F-star is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing novel bispecific antibody products that provide a significant improvement over the current standard of care. Given its strong patent position, it is the only biopharmaceutical company with the ability to create and develop Fcab™ antibody fragments, and bispecific antibodies, by modifying the constant region of an antibody. In particular, F-star’s Modular Antibody Technology™ enables rapid discovery and development of bispecific antibodies by introducing additional binding sites to the constant region of an antibody and offers unprecedented ease in the development and manufacturing of bispecific monoclonal antibodies. Using the Modular Antibody Technology™, F-star generates bispecific antibodies (mAb2™) that possess the favourable characteristics of traditional monoclonal antibodies, without the production challenges often associated with other antibody formats. F-star is now applying its proprietary technology to the development of a pipeline of product candidates. Since its founding in 2006 the company has secured funding and support from leading VC investors: Aescap Venture, Atlas Venture, Novo Ventures and TVM Capital; as well as from renowned strategic corporate investors: Merck Serono Ventures, MP Healthcare Venture Management and SR One. The company has major alliances with Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck Serono, each covering multiple targets. In 2011, F-star was selected by the industry newsletter FierceBiotech as one of the Fierce 15 winners, designating it as one of the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry. F-star currently employs over 30 people at its research site in Cambridge, UK. FS102 is an Fcab which eliminates HER2-positive cancer cells through a novel mechanism of action in a defined patient population. FS102, works differently than current HER2-targeted therapies, and has potential to overcome resistance to these drugs. It binds to a discrete site on the HER2 molecule and induces HER2-positive tumour cells to undergo programmed cell death. In preclinical studies, FS102 shows remarkable efficacy at fighting HER2-positive cancer cells, including the complete elimination of tumours. F-star has also identified a well-defined biomarker, which would allow selection of patients that are likely to respond to therapy. FS102 is advancing toward clinical testing in breast, gastric, and colorectal cancer. Full preclinical data on FS102 is being presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Boston, 21st October 2013.

F-star, the Cambridge UK oncology-focused biopharma company, has launched an independent spin-out business – F-star Beta – which has been granted exclusive licences to a range of oncology assets. F-star Beta is the second asset-centric vehicle created by the Babraham-based medical technology innovator. Under the terms of the licence agreement F-star Beta receives an exclusive licence for the generation of Fcab™ and bispecific antibodies (mAb2™) against certain oncology and immuno-oncology targets. In return, F-star will receive a combination of milestone payments and tiered royalties. John Haurum, CEO of F-star, said: “F-star created an asset-centric vehicle structure in October 2013 to accelerate the development of a pipeline of proprietary cancer therapeutics, while enabling greater commercial and financial flexibility for the company and future partners. “We are extremely pleased with the speed and productivity of our proprietary Modular Antibody Technology™ platform. The efficiency of our R & D engine facilitates the development of a large number of novel therapeutic products, well beyond what a single company can develop. “F-star Beta, as well as future asset-centric vehicles, is being established to create a flexible corporate structure to further enhance the opportunity to attract leading biopharmaceutical companies. “This approach was recently successful with our lead programme FS102 and the related agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb to obtain an option to acquire our first asset-centric vehicle, F-star Alpha Ltd.”

PubMed | San Diego Biotechnology, Gilead Sciences Inc., Genmab, University of Zürich and 26 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: mAbs | Year: 2015

An important step in drug development is the assignment of an International Nonproprietary Name (INN) by the World Health Organization (WHO) that provides healthcare professionals with a unique and universally available designated name to identify each pharmaceutical substance. Monoclonal antibody INNs comprise a -mab suffix preceded by a substem indicating the antibody type, e.g., chimeric (-xi-), humanized (-zu-), or human (-u-). The WHO publishes INN definitions that specify how new monoclonal antibody therapeutics are categorized and adapts the definitions to new technologies. However, rapid progress in antibody technologies has blurred the boundaries between existing antibody categories and created a burgeoning array of new antibody formats. Thus, revising the INN system for antibodies is akin to aiming for a rapidly moving target. The WHO recently revised INN definitions for antibodies now to be based on amino acid sequence identity. These new definitions, however, are critically flawed as they are ambiguous and go against decades of scientific literature. A key concern is the imposition of an arbitrary threshold for identity against human germline antibody variable region sequences. This leads to inconsistent classification of somatically mutated human antibodies, humanized antibodies as well as antibodies derived from semi-synthetic/synthetic libraries and transgenic animals. Such sequence-based classification implies clear functional distinction between categories (e.g., immunogenicity). However, there is no scientific evidence to support this. Dialog between the WHO INN Expert Group and key stakeholders is needed to develop a new INN system for antibodies and to avoid confusion and miscommunication between researchers and clinicians prescribing antibodies.

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